Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Empire's New Tom Cruise Cover
The Jameson Empire Awards 2014
Vote: The Greatest 301 Movies Of All Time!
Rebecca Hall:
My Movie Life

The actress picks the movies that shaped her
Mountain Dew Green Screen
Register Now to see X-MEN First Class!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
Click poster to enlarge
More posters to select


FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Evanna Lynch
Helen McCrory
Imelda Staunton
George Harris
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
Rupert Grint.
Directors
David Yates.
Screenwriters
Michael Goldenberg.
Running Time
138 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker
4 Star Empire Rating
Cupcakes
3 Star Empire Rating
You & Me Forever
4 Star Empire Rating
Looking For Light: Jane Brown
3 Star Empire Rating
Informant, The
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Rebel Without A Cause
5 Star Empire Rating
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Wake In Fright
5 Star Empire Rating
Stranger By The Lake
5 Star Empire Rating
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
5 Star Empire Rating

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Smarter, darker, more suspenseful - Harry’s growing up


submit to reddit


Plot
Harry (Radcliffe) faces expulsion, as the Ministry Of Magic tries to quell claims that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back again.


Review
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Browse more images »

Given that the science of cinema depends on the projection of light, the laws of physics limit how dark a film can be. A franchise that gets gloomier with each instalment, therefore, presents problems. But the darkness of the latest Harry Potter film is tempered by just enough humour - and more than enough action - to make it worth peering through the murk.
 
This is the first film where Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has lurked as a physical threat, tinting everything a darker shade of black. Regular Potterites know that He Who Must Not Be Named (but often is) is reborn, but the magical community refuses to credit Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) resurrection claims. So Harry faces isolation when he returns to Hogwarts and falls foul of new Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton), all twin-sets and ruthless fanaticism.
 
From the opening Dementor attack a sense of menace steadily mounts. No sooner has Harry dealt with those soul-sucking monsters than he faces the equally soul-sucking ordeal of a Ministry Of Magic trial; no sooner is he back at Hogwarts than he’s cast adrift by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), faced with a moody giant (the film’s only CG-failure) and left to Umbridge’s not-so-tender mercies.
 
Much of the credit for the building tension goes to Staunton’s pathologically cheery bitch, a walking definition of justifiable homicide. But the stellar supporting cast all gleefully compete to steal scenes, to great effect. If the central trio are still locked into a holding pattern they’ll never quite break in these roles - Ron (Rupert Grint) mugging desperately; Hermione (Emma Watson) earnestly emoting and Radcliffe mired in heroic stiffness - the script at least allows them to grow a little. But the lion’s share of the plaudits must go to director David Yates and screenwriter Michael Goldenberg. After all, it takes talented chefs to produce a fresh taste from over-familiar ingredients. Perhaps that’s why the journeyman Chris Columbus, after two faithful but plodding instalments, made way for directors of more élan - Cuarón, Newell and now Yates, who transforms the most bloated and miserable of the novels into a film that retains mood but not petulance and who, vitally, drives the plot towards its conclusion like it’s on rails.
 
That last act is the reward here, a series of breathtaking magical showdowns. Strikes and duels whip past in a flurry of physical and mental blows, with combatants piling into the fray, and one juicy match-off the franchise equivalent of Yoda’s lightsaber duel. Amid cackling baddies (especially Helena Bonham Carter’s crazy-haired Bellatrix Lestrange) and heroes teetering on the brink, there’s a moment of revelation. Potter isn’t just for kids - this is a proper, grown-up adventure. And that bodes well for the films to come.


Verdict
It won’t win new fans, but as Potter movies go, this is the most filmic of the lot, suspenseful and action-packed.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara


Related Reviews
Games
Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
 
Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
 

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix
Empire Star Rating

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is not only entertaining and action packed but has strong emotional depth thanks Daniel Radcliffe's strong performance and the strong chemistry between Harry Potter and Sirius Black. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:41, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is not only entertaining and emotional but has strong emotional depth thanks Daniel Radcliffe's strong performance and the strong chemistry between Harry Potter and Sirius Black. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by the film man at 21:40, 13 December 2011 | Report This Post


tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373889/]Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenixart five suffers immensly from the "film-in-the-middle-of-the-series" syndrome: the story is only there to work up to a grande finale in later films. Therefor it tends to get a bit boring at times and there isn`t that much to enjoy. /b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:27, 11 July 2011 | Report This Post


Better than the Book

Order of the Pheonix is a resounding return to form in the Harry Potter series. Action packed and well acted with alot of heart too. It has some memorable moments, (Dumbledore and Voldemort's dual which is worth the price alone).The film kinda symbolises all that is great about the series - 4 stars from me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by trainedasninja at 18:57, 02 July 2011 | Report This Post


Getting There Again Now

Yates shows up this time to direct my personal favourite book of the Harry Potter franchise, and, mercifully, he's done a decent job with it. The great atmosphere that was ever-present throughout the other films seems to have slipped a little in this, but everything else seems up to scratch. Performances have improved tenfold, and the film is as exciting, enjoyable, and downright fun as it ever was. Now I'm holding out some hope for the final film(s). ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by blaud at 15:28, 22 March 2011 | Report This Post


Best of the First Five 2

Overall it's a great film with a heartbreaking ending for Harry. But for us in the audience the payoff is superb as Voldemort battles it out with Dumbledore- no whizz-crack spells here, this is definitely Gandalf/Saruman or Yoda/Vader stuff. Radcliffe's best acting so far is at this point, when Voldemort possesses him; he struggles to fight him off at first but the arrival of his closest friends makes him pull through. Coupled with a moving score, this is the film's best moment. Luna Lovegood a... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Boromirs Redemption at 19:39, 13 December 2010 | Report This Post


Best of the First Five

This one is my personal favourite in the Potter films. It's mean, moody and sufficiently dark whilst still holding onto the magic that is the Harry Potter series. Radcliffe finally shakes off the stiffness that has gripped him in the first four films and is coming to terms with the magnitude of Harry's role in the saga- much in the same way as Harry himself is. The opening Dementor attack is well shot and the fact it occurs outside the confines of the wizarding world is designed to show that the... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Boromirs Redemption at 19:32, 13 December 2010 | Report This Post


Must-See Whether You're A Potter Fan Or Not. Just Great!

I personally thought this was the best Harry Potter after Prisoner of Azkaban. OotP is really dark, with Harry seriously (and understandably) angry that no one seems to understand him or care about him, which he discovers at the end isn't exactly true. The film is deeply emotional and delves into the characters, going where the other Potter films haven't gone. Harry is grown up, and has a dark side. Just great all round, go watch it! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FilmGirl27 at 20:10, 02 April 2010 | Report This Post


The ministry scenes (especially the fight with Voldemort and the possesion) are AMAZING!!! Great movie! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by FanaticalAboutFilm at 09:51, 01 February 2010 | Report This Post


Shitty Pothead and the Order of the Big Money in a rubbish movie series

The title of the review should sum up what I thought of this movie ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by S1lent B0b at 21:23, 09 September 2009 | Report This Post


The best Potter franchise since PoA

The best Potter movie since Prisoner Of Azkaban. Like the reviever said "this is the most filmic of the lot, suspenseful and action-packed" and I totally agree with that opinion. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 01:40, 08 July 2009 | Report This Post


Great job!

The best of them untill now ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by xtraga at 21:23, 30 April 2009 | Report This Post


RE: Loved this film

Just read through this and it's worth pointing out that this thread is heavily loaded with spoilers.  Now the world and his wife may well have read each and every Harry Potter book out there several times over, but the world's wife's cousin's sister in law may well have never picked one up.   Please be careful what is being stated about future films in this series as it may well spoil the element of surprise.   Having said that, how anybody doesn't guess that Loony's wig ... More

Posted by Funkyrae at 21:56, 20 March 2009 | Report This Post


Loved this film

Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ralfletsbabe at 18:12, 17 March 2009 | Report This Post


5 stars

The Fifth film makes up for the debacle (in my opinion) that was Goblet of fire. While I still enjoyed that film I couldn't help feeling let down by it. In this film the young cast truly comes into their own and look on top form. There is excellent new cast members with Delores Umbridge being played perfectly as the antagonist, at times makes you want to perform an unforgivable curse of your own. Even Michael Gambon who is a fine actor but in my opinion plays Dumbledore too nasty and growls too... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hellboy22 at 15:38, 08 January 2009 | Report This Post


5 down ...2 to go!

5 films and managing to keep a consistent level of quality! Pretty good when you consider how many TRILOGIES can't handle manage that. Like the review said it won't win new fans ...but the current ones won't be let down. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by SkullKassidy at 12:41, 04 November 2008 | Report This Post


Mint!!!

I love harry potter!!!! They are mint films, theyre not as good as the books though hehe, but still brill. Cant wait for the next film to come out, me and my mate have already said were going to watch it...bring them on!!! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by melly1991 at 17:21, 14 September 2008 | Report This Post


I don't think they should bother with the films anymore because they're just ripping the books off BIG TIME! At least this wasn't as bad as Goblet of Fire. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mozzy_gal at 20:51, 05 August 2008 | Report This Post


Excellent? I think not.

That was no where near excellent! The acting was quite poor from the trio, I really was dissapointed.Especially from Emma Watson, my God she was annoying. Umbridge and Snape were rather brilliant but that was about it really. Most irritating thing was that so many key bits were cut out.You would not have thought Harry really lost his godfather. Where was all the bit where he was desperately esearching for a way to get Sirius back? Sorry but it wasn't that great. And how the hell is OOTP the wors... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mozzy_gal at 20:49, 05 August 2008 | Report This Post


Evanna Lynch(Luna Lovegood)is the worst actress in the world, every scene with her in it made me want to stop watching this film!

I liked the way David Yates made this one more darker then the the other four,but still I did"nt really like it,maybe because the book was the worst in the series,(or maybe because of Evanna Lynch.) ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JohnPaul1996 at 15:08, 30 June 2008 | Report This Post


This is the best film yet, it has style, it has magic and it has charm. The first fully British experience. I feel this is the first time Harry Potter has felt homegrown and British. It is the best acted, Imelda Staunton is terrific as Dolores Umbridge, an incarnation of evil. It is the best performances drawn from the three center performances. I am however still unconvinced that Daniel Radcliffe is a great actor he delivers lines woodenly and sometimes poorly, his acting in the emotional scene... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by willchadwick at 21:30, 28 June 2008 | Report This Post


Hmm

Well, it was the worst book out of the series, painfully boring and tedious, and I think they did an alright job with the film, but I dont think I would watch it again. It would be the one I would skip if I were to do a marathon. I agree with the other reviewists, I too hope they incoorperate vital details that they stupidly missed from the prior films in numbers 6 & 7. Unless they change the whole plot completley - which shouldn't happen. I think the films are good, but the books are better... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bethie777 at 13:27, 13 June 2008 | Report This Post


The following films

I hope they incorporate well in the following films (6 & 7) those important facts that have been missed in the previous films. Like the importance of the mirror that Sirius gave Harry which I think is very important in the seventh ( How Aberforth learned that they needed to escape from the dungeon of the Malfoys' manor and sent Dobby to help them). I also hope that they don't eliminate Dobby's and Kreacher's characters in the next films. I think they are very important to fit the very inter... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Ving85 at 14:21, 04 June 2008 | Report This Post


The Second One

The second Harry Potter movie after Azakban Prison who's really good. Maybe it is not a word-to-word adaptation but as movie is good. In Poland polish dubbing is scariest than Voldemort but I was not loose my time for ticket. Four stars. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ARmy2510 at 16:44, 21 April 2008 | Report This Post


RE: a darker harry potter movie.hmmm,,,Where have I heard that before?

I have to agree with you mpcdaly. I also wish the papers would stop saying that every single Harry Potter film is darker than the last one, because they're wrong. To be honest, the only thing that changes with each Harry Potter film is that Harry seems to be getting more and more hormonal. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CocoIndiana at 22:25, 03 April 2008 | Report This Post


More user comments


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Making Of Locke: A Filmmaker's Journey
Steven Knight takes us through six pitstops (via Heston Services)

The 10 Most Exciting Movies At Cannes 2014
Empire's pick of the Croisette's finest

Tom Hardy: A Viewer's Guide
The essential, the recommended, the one for the fans... and the one to avoid

Ten Things To Know About The Spooks Movie
Under the hood of The Greater Good

Who’s In Spider-Man’s Sinister Six?
A bluffer’s guide to the planned spin-off from the Amazing Spider-films

14 YouTube Videos Every Game Of Thrones Fan Should Have Watched By Now
From goats singing the theme tune to every death in under three minutes

Hollywood's Biggest Names On Their Favourite Films
Stars and directors like Nolan, Whedon, Wright and Ford on the films that inspire them

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get Limited Edition Collectable X-Men Art Cards

Subscribe today and get 6 issues of Empire plus a set of collectable X-Men Art Cards for only £20!

Subscribe today

Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Just £25
Receive limited edition subscribers-only covers every month Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)